Ashley Sanders {Owner}

I’m Ashley, wife to Jeff (married April 2011), mom to Sophie Blaine (four years in October) and Lace (our first baby who is a Texas Blue Lacy), and the creative soul who has gotten us all here. I am an Aggie, class of 2003, and a small-town, country girl at heart. In my business I plan, in my personal life I prefer to just fly. In October of 2011 Jeff and I embarked on the journey of what would become Ashley & Co. This consisted of a lot of renovations to the building that we saw with great potential, rebranding, restructuring and expanding an existing business, and the opportunity to fulfill a need in this industry locally. My event experience encompasses fourteen years and ranges from crowds as few as three to as large as 5,000. I love being involved first hand in all events, but I also welcome the challenge that comes with the management side of the business. I love reflecting on where we started, where we are and where we’re going. 

From a planning and client perspective, make sure the ground work is laid and the details are covered. If you have a good base for an event, the other things will fall into place. By all involved sides sharing details of the event, it will help to eliminate surprises encompassing the event. 
We often reference the term “controlled chaos” in our office, which is somewhat how I treat most events. Remain in control and keep the chaos behind the scenes. Handle the little things so that the client can enjoy the moment. 
When it comes to executing events, I feel like my role and the role of the client is every different. From my perspective, it’s “go time”. I always like to stay one step ahead to make sure I am never caught off guard and am always expecting what will come next. While on an event, I want to be able to know what the clients are thinking before the words are said. From a client perspective, on an event day I want to see satisfaction. I want to see that they’ve arrived at that day well rested, anxiety free,  surrounded by friends or family members and are ready to celebrate in whatever form it may be.
I love what I do in so many aspects. This is my business, but far more than that, this is my heart and passion. I love our clients because they give us their trust, they come to us with some of the most important times of their lives and ask for help in creating the absolute best settings and moments. They become friends and part of our lives as we work together. I love our team because we are family. I have been blessed to find the best of the best to fit together in this puzzle to create the strongest event team possible. We laugh together, grow together, cry together, learn together and make each other stronger every single step of the way. 
When I begin the design process with anyone there are a few things that come into play. Designing an event is not that dissimilar to designing a space in a home. There are a few key elements that always need be kept in mind. What are your likes and dislikes? What is the budget? Are you symmetrical? What is the formality of the event? I feel that it is important to really spend the time with clients to get to know their personal style and make sure it is reflected in the event. 
Old world Spanish meets Mexico beaches would probably be the best combination of my personal space design style. I’m drawn to large statement pieces, mirrors, silver, rock, crystal, dark woods and anything that has interest. I am not a symmetrical person, but I am a person who creates patterns.
I have incredibly odd eating obsessions. When I eat skittles, they must be consumed in twos of the same color. If there are odd colors out, I can’t eat them! When I eat a hamburger, I pick all of the top layer of the bun off before eating it.
Exotic European mounts. One day I will hang the Gemsbok that is currently on my couch in my office. 
Sweet red wine, shoes and Bath and Body Works chapstick
My advice is somewhat two-fold.

1) Don’t be afraid to enlist help in whatever form is best for you. If this means a professional to take the reins and handle everything, that’s great. If this means your best friend to provide comical relief and take the pressure off of you, it works just as well. Just know there are a lot of moving pieces and help is a welcome thing.

2) Remember the big picture. Don’t let the little things get in the way of your enjoyment of the overall event, whether it be a fundraiser, tailgate, engagement or wedding. There may be small snags here and there, keep your sights on the goals of the event so that you have no regrets after.

Kelly Nail {lead coordinator}

Hi my name is Kelly. I live on a funny farm with 2 cows, 3 chickens, and 2 crazy Australian Shepherd’s named Gus and Festus. I started working at Ashley & Co. the summer of 2013 as I was going into my senior year at Texas A&M. I started working weddings as an intern and worked my way into coordinating through the following year. I’ve been working full time since Spring of 2014 and it’s amazing! My most difficult event to date would hands down be working the Amish Barn when we had to battle obstacles like three day torrential rains, every last minute plan changing to accommodate the water, vehicles stuck in the fields, and charter buses who had difficulty maneuvering in the allotted spaces. It was at this point in my career that I realized how thankful I was for West Texas boys with four wheel drive trucks as our back up on all events, and Ted with his event survival skills. Everyone survived and the night ended with a happily married bride and groom, happy guests and a new learning experience for all on our team. In my position as Lead Coordinator, I’ve been focused mainly on weddings the past three years, and have loved the styles, personalities and experiences that have gone along with those. This year I’ve began expanding my client base and taking on new adventures. Texas A&M sorority recruitment and March of Dimes have become two of my personal babies that I’m excited to see grow each year. One of my favorite events was Kyle Field Gala after the stadium renovation. It was great to be behind the scenes of such a large function that was not only impacting wonderful donors, but also the entire Aggie fan base. Whoop!

For me, my goal is to get as much sleep as possible before the wedding day. I don’t do well without sleep, and I like to be running on 100% when working an event. I would say secondly making sure I picked out the best 3 pairs of shoes to fit the event. My feet are going to get tired and just one pair isn’t going to work.

For a client, I think the most important thing is to focus on the details that most fit their personality, and then leave the rest to the professionals. Do you love craft beer? Do you consider yourself a foodie? Great! Bring in those unique details that all guest will say “Oh yes, that’s totally them.” They will love your wedding because it’s a reflection of you!

I’m a 100 mph at all times kind of person. I like to keep moving and make sure everything is getting done before it needs to be. I guess you could say that I’m high energy, pretty spastic and a bit of a drill sergeant, but those don’t sound like awesome qualities. Ha.
Personally, I always try to be on my toes. Nothing is ever going to go perfectly on an event day, and how you deal with the small bumps in the road shows how great of a coordinator you are. For the client, its best to just stay calm and focus on enjoying the event. Once the event has started let all the anxiety of the small things go and just be in the moment. 
Because I’m crazy! No it’s because I love a job that lets me be creative. I’ve always been the left brain person and I finally get to use that to create amazing events. I also need a lot of variation from day to day. I was never meant to do the same thing every day. Then I would really be crazy.
Learning the clients true personality is key when designing their event. We always talk about,Are you a symmetrical person?” “Do you like fun colors or patterns?” These are those little tweaks that help generate their initial design style. From there it’s highlighting the aspects of the event that are most important to the client and making sure those get checked off the list first. All the little details will fall into place from there.
I’m a bit of a hodgepodge (don’t ask me how to spell that word) when it comes to my personal design style. I love western accents (fringe, leather, cowhide, antique bronze accents) paired with just a touch of modern flare. I love taking something that’s a bit more rugged and tossing in a few really structured/tailored pieces that really stand out.
Oh gosh, where do I start? “Hi, my name is Kelly and I have square feet.” But really though, I do. It’s an odd little thing that I’m sure I only notice but hey, it’s out there for the world now! Ha!
Avocado Green! I have these awesome curtains in my house that have a great geometric pattern in avocado green and once I put them up well I was hooked. Next stop? An avocado green chicken house! They are going to have the fanciest house on the block. 
I would have to say either turquoise or fringe. I love to accessorize with both in my wardrobe and have to remind myself that fringe isn’t always the most “business casual” attire in the world.
Don’t sweat the small things! You should be enjoying the planning process and creating an event that highlights you or the cause that you are hosting. Everyone attending the event are there to celebrate with you and have a great time. They won’t know the difference between a photo on this table or that table. Make sure that what’s really important to you is complete and then let your planning staff take it from there. 

Stephanie Martinez

I’m Stephanie, a current senior at Texas A&M enjoying a victory lap. I have a glass half full type of personality and it warms my heart to bring sunshine into the office every day! Two of my favorite things are comfort foods and random music and when I get married, I’ll serve chicken fried steak family style and probably walk down the aisle to Here Comes the Sun to showcase those loves. I started with Ashley & Co. in Spring of 2015 as an intern, shortly worked into office assistant, and now am thrilled to be taking on clients of my own in a coordinator position. My favorite events are always the ones that have a personalized touch that are special to the host or bride and groom. I’ve had donkey bartenders for a wedding, and a personalized brand for a birthday party that make such great statements! I love the fact that I’ve gotten to see every aspect of the business and have the ability to jump into every situation with the right background fully equipped.

Personally, I feel that the most important aspect of preparing for an event is having contact with all ofthe vendors involved with your event. It is important to know who the vendors are and what they are responsible for the day of the event. As for a client, it is always important to maintain an open mind when it comes to preparing for an event. It allows you to dream of something bigger than you could ever imagine.
Very energetic! I love to work at a quick pace while still focusing on the little details that help create the overall picture of what the client is envisioning.
I always try to ensure that the client is comfortable and enjoying the event. There is something special about being able to help create a memory for someone, especially when they can relax and enjoy the day! As for a client, I believe that the most important aspect of executing an event is being able to say at the end of the event that they had a great time! It’s the memories and the overall end result that will leave the most memorable impression.
I love to event plan because it is a field that is always evolving. Whether it be trends, different types of events or just mere inspiration, there is always something new that you can bring to your ideas. I enjoy being able to imagine a concept and make it come to life! I dream of one day being a part of the planning and production of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and the Inaugural Ball.
When it comes to designing an event for someone, the keyis to listen to what the client is looking for, while bringing a bit of creativity to the table as well. It is also important to be realistic, especially when it comes to staying within the client’s budget. Finally, executing the design and ensuring the overall flow of the event are the last critical steps when designing an event for someone.
My personal design style is definitely boho! I love Aztec and tribal prints along with fun colors such as turquoise, lime green, orange and yellow. You will most likely find me wearing a dress, cardigan and wedges of some sort!
One quirky habit of mine is that I always sing random songs at my desk. It doesn’t matter what song comes to mind, you will find me singing/dancing along to it!
My current obsession is collecting elephant décor and black and white photos. Walking into my house, you will find black and white photos along the walls paired with different elephant décor pieces. It truly is a current obsession 
My all-time obsessions are The Beatles and retail therapy. I would have to say they are hobbies that never get old!
Always have a contingency plan! You never know what the weather may be like the day of your event, and it is important to have a back plan in case any problems arise!

Ted Doty

I fell into the Event Industry completely on accident. Starting as a catering server after moving to Texas from Wyoming 4 years ago, I quickly found himself neck deep in Special Events. After working my way up the not-so-corporate ladder, I was taking the lead on events ranging from 1200 guest weddings to a Music Festival on the slopes of Steamboat, Colorado. A Jack of All Trades, I am part pack mule, part carpenter, part comic relief. While I may not exactly be the Face of the Franchise, I keeps things moving behind the scenes, doing the heavy lifting and trying my best to make the girls’ lives as easy as possible. Never the type for a traditional desk job, I love that every day is a new adventure.

Be Flexible. While we all want to make your #DreamsComeTrue, some things might not be plausible the way you envision it. Don’t freak out. We can almost always make something work, and it may just end up better than you initially imagined. Personally, I’ve just got to stay hydrated and try not to hurt myself too much!
Zen-fully Workmanlike
Personally, I try my best to make everyone’s life as easy as possible. Any grunt labor that I can do to take the burden of off the girls is well worth it for me. As far as clients are concerned, don’t get too caught up in your timeline. While it is an important tool, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t stick to everything down to the second.
At the end of the day, I love helping people. Knowing that I can be a part of someone’s special day – whether it be a wedding, banquet or something in between – that’s a great feeling to have. At the end of the day, the long hours, and often strenuous workload, is all worth it as long as I can help the client’s vision come true.
Neo-Classical Bachelor
I once dressed up as Pumba for a college talent show.
Currently I’m real big on mountain climbing kick. In the past three years, I’ve been to the highest point of 18 States.
Embrace the Chaos. Things don’t always go perfectly as planned. Maybe it’s windy. Maybe it’s so hot that your cake starts to melt. Maybe it rains. (JK, it always rains.) Nobody remembers the parts that go exactly as planned. The best stories, and often the best memories, come from the parts that are just a little bit off. Enjoy the moment, and don’t take everything so seriously!